Nairobi, Kenya, 2020: The Next Einstein Forum | Here’s a recap of the last edition in Kigali, Rwanda

The third edition of The Next Einstein Forum will be held in Nairobi, Kenya in 2020. Here’s a recap of the last edition held in the lovely, clean and green city of Kigali, in Rwanda. This blog post below, was culled from the Robert Bosch Stiftung Foundation website on January 15, 2019. It was written by Regina Mennig and originally published in April 2018.

The spirit of the Next Einstein Forum

In Kigali, the Next Einstein Forum initiative recently hosted the largest science conference in Africa to date. What does this conference mean to African scientists?

The Special Spirit of the Next Einstein Forum

In Kigali, the Next Einstein Forum initiative recently hosted the largest science conference in Africa to date. What does this conference mean to African scientists?

In Rwanda, in late March 2018, the air was shimmering with heat underneath the cupola of the Convention Centre. Here, Africa’s brightest minds came together to discuss the latest in research, share ideas, and exchange business cards.

About 1,500 people attended the global science conference of the Next Einstein Forum (NEF), including astrophysicists from Ethiopia, biologists from Zimbabwe, and nanotech researchers from Niger, while Nobel prize winners, publishers of leading scientific journals, and presidents of global research institutions mixed with the crowd. At the heart of the conference were the NEF Fellows, a group of outstanding young African scientists who received funding for their research projects…

 

What sets the largest pan-African science conference to date apart from other conferences around the globe? Maybe that a panel discussion about the gender gap in science and technology was opened with a poem? It was recited by Juliet Kego, an engineer, poet, and activist for the cause of encouraging women to enter STEM professions. “Today I will not bow,” the anaphora of her poem, resonated with the audience in the packed Gasabo plenary hall at the Convention Centre. And when she began to sing Amazing Grace, everyone stood up to join her in singing, and swaying along.


“This is also about a very special spirit,” commented Aku Kwamie, a Ghanaian health scientist and herself a NEF Fellow. “It’s a real spirit of looking to the future saying that Africans are completely capable of coming up with our own solutions of understanding our problems. But it’s also about that spirit of family and that spirit of oneness.”

Read more here: The Special Spirit of the Next Einstein Forum

 

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